I was painstakingly shy throughout my childhood. I was always conscious about my words, my actions, and my appearance at a very young age. I remember sitting on the school bus trying not to look stupid in front of the big kids when I was 8. Before that I recall the embarrassment I felt as a 5 year old during kindergarten orientation - I hated being in front of camera and I cried through most of the ceremony. I once wore pants for most of a summer because I thought my legs were too skinny. My parents must have died laughing on the inside when I told them I wanted to go to casting calls at the age of 10.
As I grew up, I became more accepting of myself and less aware of how others perceived me. I realized that everyone has more important things to worry about what I am doing in their peripheral. Regardless of this liberation, my inner voice still motivates me to stay modest. For example, it took me some courage to post this picture. Is showing my belly button a little too risque?
And then I thought of something my mom used to tell me when I was being stubborn and timid. I can be bashful now, or I can look back when I'm 40 and be like, "Why didn't I show a little midriff while I had the body to do it?" My newfound confidence can be attributed to my time at the gym and posting a photo like this will propel me to keep going, so it can't be all that bad. Hence, this is my new fuzzy sweater - it sparkles and I love it! 🙂